In The Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.
Quiet some days ago, I had come across this particular statement made in a short marital advice video. It got me wondering, and then I had followed up by posing a question to our readers, wanting them to share their thoughts, on The Nikah Street .com Page. “Men are less romantic than women/ Men aren’t as romantic as women.” The video had made a sure statement on the lines of it. (Pardon me. I don’t quiet seem to remember the exact words used in their statement)
I had promised (well, sorta) to share my thoughts as well. So, now here’s my answer – my own thoughts, opinions, and my own little dissection. Honestly, I don’t have any personal experience to draw conclusion from, nor do I have much of a male influence in my life, in the form of brothers and the like to be able to get a first-hand conclusion from. But then, there’s the experience and learning of a journey of observations, and in the hope that I am not far off-the-mark, I continue to believe in what I do, and thereby pen-down exactly that; if you would so very kindly take the trouble to read.
Just a couple of days ago, By His Will I happened to beautifully stumble across this breath-taking collection of words, penned in and around the genre of love and its emotions, that after binge-reading on post after post of those, I had to ultimately stop and take a break. Only because they were so very beautiful, so deep, so emotional, so passionate and so raw, that I was far too overwhelmed beyond what words could describe. Then, should it come off as a surprise to you and I, if it were known to be written by a brother? Should it? I wonder.
From the Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” to Erich Segal’s “Love Story”, and many on the likes has the world received as Classics on the genre of Love. Not that I am promoting tragic-suicidal love stories or haram relationships of any sort. Nope. Just stating a fact. Do we though then question the gender of the author? I wonder. Are we ever left surprised? I wonder. [Ok, now don’t tell me that’s exactly why they are suicidal or tragic! Lol – Just kiddin’ Just kiddin’] From poets to authors, from then and now, how many of men are there not, both renowned and unknown with such exquisite display of a flow of words – in this genre to be precise? (And yes, the positive kinds too and even the Halal when it comes to the Muslim writers/poets) Subhan Allah, how many don’t we come across? Is there an element of surprise then? I wonder.
(MashaaAllah la quwwata illa billah. Allahumma barrik lahum)
Perhaps all the writers and poets out there would know that to truly write – to truly, truly write – with purity and pristine beauty – one has to delve within. Within the confines of the heart is ‘that’ true treasure, that we then let free and pour into words. Within those depths, and those cores are those feelings and those emotions. And only when he feels from deep within will he be able to ink it down. Only then with that purity can he capture the reader’s heart. Because even a reader perhaps would know, that what comes from the heart reaches the heart.
So for each one of these male authors/writer/poets, either their words just coincidentally hit the bulls-eye every single time or…………well, you be the judge. Hmm?
You know, having studied in a co-ed high-school, I don’t think I’ve seen as many girls wooing boys as I’ve seen boys wooing girls. They seem to go all out, don’t they? What with the love letters, the gifts, the dates, the excessive-pampering and the ‘I Love You-s” – oh don’t even get me started on ‘that’ – those seem aplenty! And why only the teenage years? Likewise is the situation in the case of adults as well, from wooing to dating and courting to relationships to even when arranged to be married and thus being fiancés. There’s the typical romantic indulgence galore! Don’t even deny it! Can we even deny it? Yet again, I wonder.
So basically, what we are saying is men in general are not very romantic and this we speak of in a marital advice perspective. The key word – generalization here. So, let me get this straight. Then what are we to say? That men aren’t that capable of romance generally; like whenever, in which ever scenario. But the above paragraph just proves – oh no, no, quite underplays it actually – the lengths to which they go at being romantic outside of a marriage. If I had to start writing here every example and scenario witnessed and heard off, it would have perhaps gotten turned into a thesis – might I just tell you.
So, getting back to the point. Are we to say that it is only in a marriage that they aren’t capable of being as romantic. That ‘Oh they aren’t every expressive with their ‘I Love You-s’, in a marriage. (‘But Ummm I thought you just said they were expressed aplenty, just now, right?’) And if so – why? Because it’s taken for granted that they now have their women and now there’s no need for wooing? In short now the relationship, the woman, or the love in between can be taken for granted? Is that it? When, from Haram relationships there are obvious proofs, then does in a Halal Relationship, where the need is at the max and so are the Blessings is this generalization or stereotypical conclusion, fair? Is this an excuse? Or a stereotyping generalization?
So, Right now I can only see two choices here:
– One, that they can be Romantic. But only choose to do so when it suits them. Thereby in haram relationships – yes. In halal – Take for granted.
– Or Two, that they can be Romantic. Oh yeah. Very much.
Take your pick. Because the question of them not being very romantic, I dare say now, is out of question, it seems. Is it? I wonder.
Romance. Isn’t the best example of it of a man? Of. A. Man – Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم. An example to both men and women.
The way he صلى الله عليه وسلم raced competitively with Aisha رضي الله عنها and she won the first time. The way he صلى الله عليه وسلم raced her again the second time after a considerable time had passed and she had by then put on some weight, and this time around he صلى الله عليه وسلم won. And the way he صلى الله عليه وسلم then said to her “this is for that!”; isn’t that romantic?
The way he صلى الله عليه وسلم stopped his entire entourage during a journey, in a place that too were there was a scarcity of water, just to search for Aisha’s رضي الله عنها lost necklace; isn’t that romantic?
The way he صلى الله عليه وسلم ran to Khadija رضي الله عنها in a state of panic, frightened and anxious upon the First revelation and the way she comforted and consoled him. I don’t know about you. But ‘that’ too I find romantic. For romance isn’t all about the ‘goodies’, but in those moments of feeling low, when you have the other’s words and arms for comfort, and more importantly the ‘trust’ to be able to turn to that better-half knowing well that you actually have that, with no ounce of doubt. So, isn’t that romantic?
The way he صلى الله عليه وسلم burst into tears upon seeing Khadija’s رضي الله عنها necklace after years of her passing away; isn’t that romantic?
The way he صلى الله عليه وسلم still greeted and treated well the friend’s of Khadija رضي الله عنها long after her death; isn’t that romantic?
The way he صلى الله عليه وسلم would drink from the same place where Aisha رضي الله عنها drank from; isn’t that romantic?
The way he صلى الله عليه وسلم fondled her during her menses; isn’t that romantic?
The way he صلى الله عليه وسلم would lean on her lap and read the Quran during her menses; isn’t that romantic?
The way he صلى الله عليه وسلم would call her ‘Aish’ and the way he صلى الله عليه وسلم nicknamed her ‘Humaira’ (meaning: reddish one; as far as I have read somewhere and what my memory tells me, apparently meaning or referring to someone who is of such fair complexion that it turns reddish under heat/sun. And Allah Knows Best); isn’t that romantic?
The way he صلى الله عليه وسلم didn’t shy away from proclaiming his love for Aysha رضي الله عنها out loud -
Amr bin Al-As narrated: I came to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and said, “Who is the most beloved person to you?” He said, “Aisha.” I asked, “Among the men?” He said, “Her father.” ; isn’t that romantic? [Bukhari]
In the way that he صلى الله عليه وسلم did this according to one of my favourite hadiths in this genre –
Aisha رضي الله عنها reported: It was the day of celebration and the Abyssinians were playing with shields and spears; either I asked the Prophet or he asked me whether I would like to watch. I said yes. Then the Prophet made me stand behind him while my cheek was touching his cheek and he was saying, “Carry on, O Banu Arfida,” until I became tired. The Prophet asked me, “Are you satisfied?” I said yes, so I left; isn’t that romantic? [Bukhari and Muslim]
The way he صلى الله عليه وسلم and Aisha رضي الله عنها shared a ‘code language’
She asked the Prophet رضي الله عنها how he would describe his love for her. The Prophet answered, saying: “Like a strong binding knot.” The more you tug, the stronger it gets, in other words. Every so often ‘Aisha would playfully ask, “How is the knot?” The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم would answer, “As strong as the first day (you asked).”; isn’t that romantic? [Hilya al Awliya]
In each of these instances (and many more), I find glimpses of different shades of romance; a glimpse of mischief in some, of sensitiveness and care and consideration in some others, of passion in some, of loyalty and faithfulness in some others, of playfulness in some, of proclamation of love in some others, of cuteness in some, of maintaining a uniqueness and beauty exclusive to their relationship in some others…
Isn’t that all romantic? Or…is that Love? Love or Romance? Which one is it? But then, perhaps that’s the thing. It’s all one and the same somehow. Look at every relationship there is. Every relationship. Of every kind. Between mothers and their children, between fathers and their children, between siblings, between friends, etc. Yes, there’s Love. But Romance? That is one unique characteristic that is Only and Solely EXCLUSIVE to only and only one kind of relationship, and that is the one between a Husband and Wife. In short – in a Marriage. So, perhaps Love and Romance are two sides of the same coin, in a marriage? Each completing the other. Each balancing the other.
Now, that which is exclusive only to being between a man and a woman, are we to tell that only women are more capable of it? When, it clearly is between the both of them? It defies the whole purpose then, isn’t it? …Isn’t it?
Of romance and the display of romance being the capability and onus of both the husband and wife, for love to ever blossom and never grow old and fade away, is what I see in so many examples displayed to us thus by the Hadiths. (May He Forgive me Immediately Always Forevermore, if I am erring in my opinion or judgement) And one such perfect example of how Romance is between them both, is what I find in this beautiful to and fro banter in the language of romance:
Once the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was sitting in a room with Aisha and fixing his shoes. It was very warm, and Aisha looked to his blessed forehead and noticed that there were beads of sweat on it. She became overwhelmed by the majesty of that sight was staring at him long enough for him to notice. He said, “What’s the matter?” She replied, “If Abu Bukair Al-Huthali, the poet, saw you, he would know that his poem was written for you.” The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم asked, “What did he say?” She replied, “Abu Bukair said that if you looked to the majesty of the moon, it twinkles and lights up the world for everybody to see.” So the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم got up, walked to Aisha, kissed her between the eyes, and said, “Wallahi Ya Aisha, you are like that to me and more.” [Dala’el Al-Nubuwa]
Let the Romance flow. Right now. Today. Tomorrow. Day after. And then the next and the next and the next. Steal little moments. Don’t wait. Break the mundanity. Make efforts and do so much, so much, that there would never be a scarcity. Defeat the Shaytan. InShaaAllah. (Self-Reminders to myself first)
Ya Allah Infinitely Bless the couples, the love and romance between them in Your Way and Protect them from all evil eyes and all kinds of sharr(evil), Always Forevermore, and Grant them and us all with from Among The Highest & Loftiest Ranks in Jannat-ul-Firdous, immediately without account! Ameen!
All good is from Allah Alone – for that all Praises and Thanks are to Him Alone. May He Forgive my errors, shortcomings and mistakes, Always Forevermore!
I thus, rest my case. And let you wonder. Or better yet, let you romance. Whether you are a man or a woman. Halalfully. InShaaAllah. And Allah Knows Best.
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